Musician opens his Book of Truths for Vernon audience

Arnprior, Ont.-based folk singer Craig Cardiff is back in B.C. and gives a show at Triumph Coffee House Thursday, July 16.

An Ottawa Valley musician is about to share what lies beneath the pages of a special notebook when he returns to town.

Last in Vernon in March, Arnprior, Ont.-based folk singer Craig Cardiff is back in B.C. and gives a show at Triumph Coffee House *Thursday, July 16.*

On tour to promote his new double album, Love Is Louder (Than All This Noise), Cardiff has 21 new songs to pool from, most of which were influenced by what audiences members have written to him.

For the past two and a half years, Cardiff has been passing around an empty notebook called the Book of Truths during his shows and asking his fans to share something truthful in it – a story, a confession, a hope, a secret. The book gives fans a chance to write down something they may be too afraid to say out loud, and it gives Cardiff an opportunity to connect with the people who come to hear him play.

Some entries, Cardiff says, haven’t  always been easy to read.

Those heartbreaking stories left him wanting to do something, to find the person who wrote about going through a difficult time, and tell him or her to hold on for tomorrow. That sense of reassurance can be heard in Cardiff’s newest collection of songs.

“I didn’t realize it at first, but this collection of songs is just really to help people be OK and to let them know to just wait until tomorrow, stay here and push on through,” said Cardiff. “Every song has that kernel of hope and joy, even if it’s not apparent at first. I think the purpose of each song is to remind people to make sure they remember that they’re OK and that things are good. Don’t give up.”

For Love Is Louder (Than All This Noise), Cardiff worked with producers Ben Leggett (Faraway Neighbours, Ben Hermann) and Andre Wahl (Hawksley Workman, Luke Doucet), the same team that produced Cardiff’s Floods and Fires album, which earned the artist a 2012 Juno award nomination for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year and a Canadian Folk Music nomination for Contemporary Singer of the Year.

This time, Leggett and Wahl told Cardiff they wouldn’t let him make an album like anything he had made before.

Cardiff recorded it live off the floor with a band for the first time, playing louder and harder than he ever has, and he stepped into a new role, arranging instrumental parts.

“It was very uncomfortable, and they were just pushing, pushing,” said Cardiff. “But it was the best experience. I felt like my head and my comfort level were being stretched.”

The result is one part boisterous group sing-alongs, one part gentle lullaby, with one album containing full live band recordings, and the other more subdued, with acoustic guitar, cello, clarinet and violin.

Cardiff will share new songs from Love Is Louder (Than All This Noise ) *Thursday, July 16* at 8 p.m. at Triumph Coffee House, 3401A 30th Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $15 in advance at, or $20 at the door.

*Please note the original date given for this performance has now been changed to the correct date.*